PVC maker Shintech Inc. wants to increase its feedstock independence by building a massive vinyl chloride monomer feedstock plant in Alvin, Texas.
The plant will have annual capacity for 1.8 billion pounds of VCM and 1.2 billion pounds of caustic soda. Shintech recently filed applications to build the plant with the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality, company officials said in a May 29 news release.
No cost estimate was listed in the release, but a May 30 Reuters news story said the project will cost about $820 million. Officials with Houston-based Shintech - a unit of world PVC leader Shin-Etsu Chemical Co. Ltd. of Tokyo - could not be reached to confirm that amount. The news release also did not list construction or opening dates for the project.
In the release, Shintech officials said the firm wants to be more self-sufficient in VCM. Since opening U.S. operations in 1974, Shintech has sourced most of its VCM from Dow Chemical Co. Shintech's PVC plant in Freeport, Texas, gets VCM from a Dow plant there, while Shintech's PVC works in Addis, La., are supplied with VCM from a Dow plant in nearby Plaquemine, La.
Shintech officials said Midland, Mich.-based Dow ``has been a valued and reliable supplier,'' but added their own firm ``has been considering upstream integration in order to assume greater control of its VCM sourcing, and to have ready access to additional supplies as they are needed.''
Shintech also is building an integrated complex in Iberville, La. - less than 10 miles from Addis - that will include 1.3 billion pounds of annual PVC capacity and 1.7 billion pounds of annual VCM capacity. That site is scheduled to begin operating in 2008.
Based on estimated 2006 sales, Shintech ranks as North America's largest PVC maker, with a 24 percent market share.